Founded in 2014, Pêche is a newcomer in a city that measures the longevity of its restaurants in decades. It got off to a brilliant start, though, winning that year’s James Beard award for Best New Restaurant in America. The same year, Pêche chef Ryan Prewitt took the James Beard award for Best Chef: South. Pêche regularly turns up on lists of the 10 best restaurants in New Orleans.
The restaurant is a big, airy single room. No dress code here; the accent is on casual comfort.
I joked, a few weeks ago, about preparing for an elegant homemade gourmet dinner by first defrosting the fish sticks. Fish sticks! How silly of me.
When I started to research restaurants for my trip, I noticed something unexpected about the reviews of Pêche: the food critics kept raving about the restaurant’s fish sticks. “You can skip the shrimp toast …but not the beer-battered fish sticks (really)”, wrote one. “Don’t miss the shareable beer-battered fish sticks”, said another. Who’d a thunk it?
Pêche’s fish sticks are indeed excellent. They’re worlds away from the elementary school cafeteria staple that gives fish a bad name.
Now if only someone would reimagine tater tots and chicken nuggets….
“Smothered”, in this context, describes a cooking method used in Cajun and Creole cuisines. It’s basically stove-top braising, and in Louisiana it’s used to tenderize and flavour all sorts of game, domestic animals, seafood, and vegetables.
For my main, I had a fine serving of Smothered Catfish. Or so I thought….
A Disturbing Discovery
Smothered cat? My god, what had these maniacs served me?